Journalism Seminars


Our economics and policy seminars for journalists will give you, as a Canadian journalist, a greater understanding of economics and public policy and help you write about Canadian and world issues with more clarity and confidence.

Many of today’s issues, including health care, income inequality, the environment, and foreign aid have economic implications. These programs will improve your understanding of economics so you'll be more adept at analyzing the policies proposed by politicians and advocacy groups, and the public’s responses to these policies. You'll gain practical tools, know which questions to ask, and be able to write about current events from a different angle.

The Fraser Institute now offers two programs to journalists. The Economics for Journalists program focuses on teaching basic economic principles and how they relate to journalism. The Policy for Journalists program demonstrates how to use economic principles to examine Canadian and global public policy issues.

These graduate seminar-style programs are open to Canadian journalists from TV, radio, print, and new media from across Canada, and allow journalists to look at important issues through an economic lens while engaging in a forum of learning, questioning, and critical analysis. Full bursaries are available to cover program costs, valued at $1500, including travel, accommodation, tuition, materials, and the majority of meals.

Upcoming Programs

Economics for Journalists

Date: November 14-17, 2024
Location: Calgary, AB

Apply now for Economics for Journalists

Policy for Journalists

Date: November 14-16, 2024
Location: Calgary, AB

Apply now for Policy for Journalists

Economics for Journalists

The Economics for Journalists program features explanations of common economic terms and the practical application of the "economic way" of thinking is highlighted throughout the program. Through lectures, simulations, and discussions, experienced economics professors will demonstrate how economics can be used to better understand the world around us using real, relevant examples from Canadian society, and explain how to apply the economic concepts being taught to actual reporting.

Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Labour markets
  • National debt
  • Government budgets/spending
  • Numbers in the newsroom: GDP, CPI, the unemployment rate
  • Economic freedom
  • International trade
  • Monetary policy
  • Behavioural economics

Economic concepts covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Opportunity costs
  • Property rights
  • Unintended consequences
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Marginal decision-making
  • Supply and demand
  • Public Choice Theory

Frequently Asked Questions

Policy for Journalists

The Policy for Journalists program teaches journalists how to use an economic lens to analyze Canadian and global policies. The complexity of some policy issues is daunting. While economic reasoning doesn’t guarantee a resolution of the issues, it is a powerful tool for critical thinking. The ability to determine opportunity cost, identify incentives, and predict resulting behaviour will help journalists set aside the emotion surrounding policy issues and bring clarity to the discussion of current events. The sessions are focused on applying economic concepts to analyze and interpret various Canadian and global public policies. Each session will provide you with a foundation for the case studies and discussion that follow it. This program will be guided by an experienced economics educator, alongside policy experts to walk you through a variety of areas of public policy and case studies. 

Having taken our Economics for Journalists program previously, or having a solid understanding of economics and an interest in public policy is required for this advanced program.

Public policy topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Energy development and the environment
  • Canada’s health care system
  • Government spending and taxation
  • Canada's education system
  • Poverty, inequality, and the disappearing middle class
Economic concepts covered include (but are not limited to):
  • The "economic way of thinking" reviewed
  • Public choice theory
  • Debt, deficits, and balanced budgets
  • Market failure and government failure
  • Globalization
  • Unintended consequences
  • Trade
  • Inflation

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Devon Orth-Lashley at [email protected] for more information. To receive updates on upcoming programs, please subscribe to our Journalists mailing list.


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